This technique is an updated version of Gua Sha- a traditional Chinese medicine method of releasing pain (gua= scrape, sha= sand). Weighted, beveled steel tools are used to produce light petechiae (redness caused by capillary hemorrhage) in order to release fascia, restore movement, improve circulation and decrease pain. It is also known as the Graston Technique (named after David Graston who started the IASTM movement).
Benefits of this technique are: *to deliberately create micro-trauma and slight inflammation (petechiae)----eccentric exercises do the same thing, creating micro-tears in the muscle *to facilitate connective tissue healing *to release soft tissue hypertonicity, adhesions, and fascial restrictions *to modulate pain and tone by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to signal the brain to relax the area of tension or restriction
Who can benefit? *Elite athletes *Weekend Warriors *Sports participants with overuse injuries (including children) *Migraine sufferers *Desk job employees *Anyone with old injuries who have scar tissue *Anyone with new injuries that need to prevent scar tissue abnormalities *Anyone with persistent trigger points (knots) that won't go away.
Ever wonder why hot stones would be beneficial in a massage session? In addition to feeling amazing, there are a few other great benefits to adding in this little luxury.
Need deep work to get rid of trigger points (knots), or to lengthen some shortened muscles (this can happen when you assume one position for extended periods of time such as sitting at a desk all day)? Hot stones help to heat the muscle tissue allowing for deeper work, faster. This can allow your therapist to get to the deeper work quicker and spend more time on the type of work you really need.
Do you have cold hands and feet? Hot stones are great at increasing circulation in the body. The heat quickly brings the blood flow to the surface and is a real treat when you have an area of the body that is chronically cold. This is also great for an older injury because bringing circulation to an area also brings nutrients your body uses to heal the tissue.
Dealing with a lot of stress and need to just tune out? The heat from the stones has a very relaxing, almost sedative effect. Ask for a hot pack for your feet when you come in and get a double hit of heat. There is nothing quite like having toasty warm feet to increase your speed of relaxation.
So, the next time you visit us for a massage, be sure to ask for hot stones. We will include them free in any massage. See you soon!
Willow Bow Massage Therapy
You have tried for months (or years!) to get to this point. You are finally pregnant and are looking forward to the arrival of your new little one. Pregnancy is an exciting time for many. We plan and arrange and get ready in any way we can for this amazing little bundle. Often the process can be stressful, or uncomfortable, or down right painful! Prenatal massage is a great way to help the process go just a little smoother for mom (and baby!).
I think we all saw the Olympics this year and noticed the distinctive marks left by a cupping session on Michael Phelps. It brought a lot of attention to this ancient technique used in Eastern Medicine for centuries. Since then, we have had many clients ask about this technique, so I thought I would share a few benefits. I would also like to let you know that Tatum offers cupping free of additional charge in any massage session booked with her!
First I would like to clarify that cupping can be done with a few different methods. One uses glass cups and fire. A small burst of flame into the cup creates the suction used for the treatment. This is the method that has been used the longest. Another, newer method involves using a special tool to draw the air out of specially designed cups.
Cups can be placed in one spot on the body and allowed to rest there for a few minutes (which creates the marks), or the suction can be applied and the cups can be moved around during your massage. Leaving the cup in a specific location is great for trigger points or a particularly tight area. Massaging with the cups allows for great deep work which helps to break up adhesions in the skin (think scar tissue), fascia (the membrane surrounding the muscles), and the muscle tissue itself.
Because of the deep work that can be done with the cups, cupping can be beneficial for those dealing with muscle pain, headaches, and tension throughout the body. Cupping can also be great for increasing circulation throughout the body. Toxins can even be pulled through the skin (Not even kidding, ask to see the cups after!).
If you are curious about this treatment and would like to give it a try, be sure to schedule your massage with Tatum and let her know when you arrive for your appointment. They are always ready to go and she can use as few or as many as you would like during your massage session with her.
Willow Bow Massage Therapy
New to Massage? Not sure what to expect at your first massage appointment? First off, let me congratulate you on booking your first appointment. I hope this will be the first of many! It can be a little intimidating when you are not sure what to expect, so here is a short rundown of what will happen at your first appointment.
First, try to be to your appointment 5 to 10 minutes early, we will have a one page (front and back) intake form for you to fill out. We will be asking briefly about your medical history, massage goals, current activities, and of course basic contact information. Once your form is completed, we will go over your form together and determine the best massage for you. Always remember that you are in control of your massage. We can always concentrate on specific areas of concern and the pressure should always be what you are comfortable with.
Once we are done discussing your intake forms and have a plan for the massage, your massage therapist will step out of the room for you to get undressed and on the table. To what level you wish to undress is completely up to you. Generally, the fewer clothes you are wearing, the better the massage therapist can work areas of your body. For women, it is always easier to work your upper back, neck and, shoulders if you have taken your bra off. Many people choose to leave their underwear on, and this is perfectly fine. Even if you need some good hip work, this can be done through the sheet and your underwear.
Getting on the table is easy. Just crawl between the sheets and cover up as best you can. Your therapist will have told you before she left if she wanted you to start face down or face up. The table should be super cozy with a plush topper under the bottom sheet and a warm blanket over the top sheet. We will adjust the pillow under your ankle/knee when we come back in the room and make any adjustments necessary to make you as comfortable as possible. Speak up if there is anything we can do to make you more comfortable! Honestly, it only takes seconds and you will be there for 30 to 90 minutes so if you are too warm/cold or if the music is too loud/soft, we would love to fix it.
Now that you are super comfortable and probably already falling asleep on the table, your massage will begin. Always speak up if the pressure is too much or too little. We want you to enjoy your massage as much as possible, even if enjoyable to you is having to breathe through the intensity of your massage. We will check in on pressure a couple times throughout the massage or if you start to tense up, but feedback anytime is welcome.
People often ask if talking during a massage is okay. Of course, if that is what is you want. We try to take our cues from you. If you want to talk, talk. If you are quiet, we will take your lead and let you quietly enjoy your time. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us anytime.
Willow Bow Massage Therapy